The Cal Poly Academic Senate is asking the university to remove Chick-fil-A from campus.
The university faculty governing body voted overwhelmingly to remove the fast food restaurant chain, with 38 out of 44 voting in favor of its removal.
Senate leaders making the request say the fast food restaurant chain and its foundation have a history of donating to anti-LGBTQ organizations and these donations are inconsistent with the university values of inclusion and diversity.
The decision to take action is now up to Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong.
In response to the vote, the university says it pays close attention to the hiring and employment practices of food industry contractors on campus.
University spokesman Matt Lazier noted that during Chick-fil-A’s 25-year-history at the university, there has not been a complaint or concern of discriminatory actions.
To be very clear, university administration and Cal Poly Corporation leadership disagree passionately with the ideologies of some of the organizations to which the president of Chick-fil-A has chosen to make personal donations. However, university administration’s disagreement with the political views of a given business owner does not give the university license to effectively censor that business and prohibit it from continuing to operate at the university. – Matt Lazier
He also noted the popularity of the business on campus.
The university later sent another statement to the KSBY newsroom to clarify.
While university administration passionately disagrees with the values of some of the organizations the president of Chick-fil-A has chosen to make personal donations to, we do not believe in responding to intolerance with intolerance. Rather, we must model our values of inclusion – that means upholding the rights of others to have different perspectives and ensuring there is space in our community for differing viewpoints and ideologies, even those that may be in direct conflict with our own. – Matt Lazier
Lazier also says that it’s the right of each campus member to choose whether to support any given business at Cal Poly.
KSBY reached out to Chick-Fil-A for a comment but has not heard back as of this posting.